The UFC has a pretty solid track record of putting a few local fighters on their cards when they travel outside the home base of Las Vegas.
So, when the top MMA promotion announced over the weekend that they would put on a fight night at the Revel in Atlantic City, N.J., on July 16, the immediate thoughts around here focused on who from Long Island might be on that card. (Since New York remains the only state with a ban on professional MMA, New Jersey is as close as they can get to fighting at home.)
No fights have been officially announced for UFC Fight Night in Atlantic City. But let's take a look at which of the seven Long Island-based fighters on the UFC's active roster could be in line for the somewhat-local booking, based on their recent fight timeline.
Dennis Bermudez -- Bermudez last fought on March 15 with a third-round TKO win over Jimy Hettes. That would be four months in between fights for the featherweight Bermudez (14-3), who is on a six-fight win streak in the UFC.
Ryan LaFlare -- He last fought on April 11, which would give him three months and five days to be healthy and ready. Lindenhurst's LaFlare (11-0) could use the close-to-home fight. His four UFC welterweight fights have been in Sweden, Brazil, Sacramento, Calif., and Abu Dhabi.
Aljamain Sterling -- Relatively new to the UFC, Uniondale's Sterling won his debut on Feb. 22. Sterling, an undefeated bantamweight at 9-0, would have essentially five months off to be healthy and ready to go.
Gian Villante -- The light heavyweight from Levittown is coming off a March 23 loss in Brazil but could be considered for the Atlantic City card.
As for the other three Long Islanders in the UFC, they're already booked. Massapequa's Costas Philippou fights May 10 at UFC Fight Night, Wantagh's Al Iaquinta is booked for May 24 at UFC 173, Baldwin's Chris Weidman will defend his middleweight title July 6 at UFC 175.